By Ellie Fields 12 Abr, 2009

In which state do companies get the biggest tax refunds? In the 2007 tax year it was the District of Columbia. Helps to be near the IRS, it seems.

The District of Columbia also came in on top in individual tax refunds at $2,615 per filing. Montana residents got the lowest individual tax refunds at $1,685 each.

There are some interesting stories in the data. For example, look at excise taxes. Why does Arkansas have such high refunds?

Excise taxes are a form of sin taxes. They're often levied on alcohol, tobacco and gasoline produced within a country. The Tax Foundation has a nice chart of excise taxes by state, which shows that Arkansas doesn't have much higher rates of excise taxes than other states. However, there were very few filings of excise taxes in 2007 in Arkansas, so perhaps the data is distorted by a few big refunds.

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Source data:

IRS Table 8: Amount of Internal Revenue Refunds Issued, Including Interest, by State, 2007

IRS Table 7: Number of Internal Revenue Refunds Issued, by State, 2007


This is likely just a coincidence, but DC had a bad case of fraud in its city tax office uncovered not too long ago. The tax office gave refunds for years to companies that were fronts for some tax office employees. They stole millions of dollars from a city that really needed it.

That's probably not the explanation for your data though - I think they were stealing city tax funds, not federal funds (but DC and federal funds get intertwined, so it may be part of the explanation).

If the city comptroller had had Tableau at the time, maybe they would have detected the fraud earlier.

How does the Drop down box displayed on the visualization? Is it by using Pages??

No, it is a new Quick Filter style for 5.0.